This was a back-and-forth game that had a lot of possible turning points but the Penguins were able to get a huge mistake power play goal from Evgeni Malkin in the third period and the Penguins really shut it down from there on out limiting the Oilers to only three shots in the entire third period.
The Penguins got the first goal of the game only three minutes in when Pascal Dupuis took a Sidney Crosby pass from behind the net and found the back of the net and the Penguins never trailed. The Oilers got a goal early in the second period and then tied it again late in the second period, but for much of the game the Pens really held serve.
The Oilers aren't that good of a team and while they have some talent they just never really put a full game together. They managed only four shots in the first period and I already talked about the three they had in the second so it was really a one period game from Edmonton and they couldn't score enough goals in that one period to overcome two bad periods. The Oilers have some really good speed and they used that in the second to outshoot the Penguins 15-9 but the Penguins were able to weather the storm and get the job done.
As I said the Oilers came pretty hard in the second but Marc-Andre Fleury was there. His stat line isn't really going to wow you as he only faced 22 shots and gave up two goals but in that second period the Oilers had some really good chances and they had the Pens on their heels a bit and when that was happening MAF just made big save after big save and did enough for the Penguins to finally take the lead for good.
Crosby had a nice contest as he assisted on all three goals. He nearly scored one of those goal but it was Chris Kunitz who helped a rolling puck over the line and all-in-all it will read that Crosby had two primary assists and a secondary assist but he was a force tonight. I mean that is really nothing different but with some players it is about the goals they score and the immediate play right after they get the puck but Crosby is so good that he sets up his teammates and puts them in positions to be successful, even if that comes one pass later. That might sound weird to read but I think you guys get what I mean. Some people dismiss secondary assists and while Crosby will get some garbage ones this year none of those today were.
I talked about the mistake power play goal and that is about how it turned out. Crosby found Martin up at the right point on the power play and Martin lined up for the one-timer and totally whiffed. He numbed it and it went straight to Malkin on the half-wall and he was able to one-time it into the back of the net. The most mistake assist that Martin will ever have. Game-winning primary assist though.
I would have to assume that Robert Bortuzzo is back in the lineup the next time the Penguins take the ice because Deryk Engelland was pretty brutal tonight. He rarely gets in position and just seems to look for the big hit at the expense of his defensive responsibility. I know that people like to have someone on the ice that can be the "enforcer" but when it is costing the team goals and giving up quality scoring opportunities then I think we can skip over the enforcer part. He seemed to get less and less ice time as the night went on and finished with just over 11 minutes of ice time but I wouldn't be surprised if he had a suit on come Thursday.
For a couple of teams that don't play very often there was a lot of physicality in the game and there was more hits being thrown that I would have expected. The Penguins finished with 31 hits while Edmonton had 21, so take that for what it's worth. I don't really think having a bunch of hits is always the good thing because in order to get a bunch of hits that means the other teams possess the puck, which is bad. Whatever though.